By Andrew Wasike and Magdalene Mukami
NAIROBI, Kenya (AA) – An alarmed Kenya on Friday criticized China for reversing its ban on the use of rhino horns and tiger bones in medicine saying it will increase poaching in Africa.
In a statement, an enraged Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife said that the move will lead to the trade of bones and horns, threatening efforts to prevent the decline of the species.
“Based on the experience in ivory trade in the last 25 years, legalized trade has proven ineffective in stemming elephant poaching in Africa. It will not discourage existing illegal syndicates driving this trade,” the statement read.
Kenya accused China of fostering false beliefs that the bones and horns hold medicinal value at a time when "a single, clear message needs to be communicated to the billions of potential consumers".
Most of the smuggled elephant tusks and rhino horns reportedly find their way to China and East and Central Africa through Kenya.
In March, the world's last male northern white rhino died of old age in central Kenya. Scientists say that the species will go extinct after the remaining two elderly female rhinos die.